The Ohio Supreme Court (OSC) announced Tuesday that it would decide on whether the petition made by people against the nuclear power plant bailout can be given an extra 38 days to collect signatures.
In October, U.S. District Court Judge Edmund A. Sargus asked Ohio’s highest court to weigh in on whether Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts (OACB) could get more time to collect signatures. Sargus determined that OACB went to the wrong court when it asked for extra time to petition people to overturn the nuclear power plant bailout.
OACB started its petition in August but it did not get the required 265,774 signatures by the October 21 deadline.
Current Ohio law gives referendum seekers 90 days to gather signatures. However, OACB requested an extra 38 days to gather signatures after it said the state delayed approving its ballot initiative.
The group claims HB 6 supporters interfered with petitioners on multiple times and handed out fake petitions.
Justices Maureen O’Connor, Sharron Kennedy, Michael Donnelly and Melody Stewart approved to hear the case without issuing an opinion. The other three justices Judith French, Patrick Fischer and Patrick DeWine did not participate in the vote due to conflict of interests.
OACB has 40 days to file a brief in this case.
Just last month, the OSC ruled against FirstEnergy Solutions when it decided it would not hear the case pertaining to the constitutionality of HB 6. The energy company filed a motion in September to the OSC asking it to stop a referendum trying to overturn HB 6, which bailed out the company’s two nuclear power plants.
HB 6, which became law in July, increases Ohioans’ monthly electric payments by 85 cents and gives FirstEnergy Solution’s nuclear power plants $150 million in annual government assistance for seven years.
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